A few years ago, some Leica M9 cameras were affected by sensor corrosion. If you haven’t replaced them by now – well, now it’s officially too late. Leica has discontinued the M9’s CCD sensor and you can no longer replace a sensor in your camera. Instead, you can only buy a new one.
Samsung is reportedly ramping up its image sensor production capabilities in a big way, although it’s doing it at the expense of RAM production – again. The process began in 2018 when Samsung converted its DRAM-producing Line 11 plant to make image sensors instead. At that time, they also announced their intention to convert Line 13 to do the same.
The conversion of Line 13 was expected towards the end of 2018, but it seems to have not happened yet. Business Korea reports that the plan is now going ahead, though, at a cost of 1 trillion Korean won (₩) or around US$815 million. Which, apparently, is actually cheaper than building a whole new factory.
Sony recently announced a pair of new smartphone-sized IMX camera sensors. They’re the first two models of what Sony calls their “intelligent vision” sensors. Sony says that they’re the world’s first image sensors to be equipped with AI processing functionality built right into the sensor itself for the fastest possible processing speeds.
This first generation of sensors, which includes the IMX500 and IMX501 (both 12.3-megapixels), is destined more towards Sony’s commercial and industrial product clients, but their smartphone sensors will almost certainly evolve to incorporate this technology over the next few years.
If you needed more proof that the world was going nuts, it seems that Samsung is working on 600-megapixel sensors. In an editorial post on the Samsung website, Yongin Park, Head of Sensor Business Team stated they’re prepared to “ride the next wave” of tech innovation, and is determined to produce sensors with higher resolution than the human eye.
In just the past couple of years, we’ve already seen smartphone sensors make what seemed at the time to be a ridiculous leap to 64-megapixels, followed up very quickly by 108-megapixels, and a 150-megapixel 1″ Samsung sensor was rumoured to be in the works just last month. 600-megapixels is a bit of a step up, but Samsung seems keen to get there.
Canon’s sensor lineup has expanded to add five new sensors, including one Super 35mm and one Full Frame 50-megapixel sensor. It appears as though the additions are new to third party sales, although might have existed in previous Canon models.
All five sensors are rolling shutter CMOS sensors, designed primarily for surveillance, rather than photography or video, despite the physical size of a couple of them.
A new Canon patent has been discovered by the folks at Canon News. It describes an 83-megapixel sensor which, if the maths are right, will have the same pixel pitch as the 32.5-megapixel sensor in the recently announced Canon EOS 90D. A second 20.75-megapixel sensor has also been described in the patent
Despite Sony’s popularity with cameras, TVs,
Walkmans, and other doohickies, one of their most successful units within the company has been their semiconductor division. The semiconductor division was actually spun off as a separate company back in 2015, but has remained a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony, who retains complete control.
Now, Daniel Loeb, an American investor who runs a fund owning a $1.5 billion stake in the company, has called on Sony to completely separate its “crown jewel” image sensor business from the rest of the company.
Samsung’s Galaxy S9 family of phones have been rather popular since their release, particularly with regard to their cameras. But despite being near the top of their game, they’re not resting and waiting for the competition to catch up. Announced in 2013, Samsung’s mobile sensors today largely use their ISOCELL technology.
Now, thanks to new material developments from Fujifilm, Samsung have been able to improve this technology to offer more sharpness and colour accuracy, while improving low light performance. They say it will also lead to smaller and higher resolution sensors without any loss in performance.
It feels like only last year we were faced with a technological breakthrough. Dual cameras in our phones. Two cameras working together as one to improve image quality, and increase ISO performance. To let us realistically fake the shallow depth of field previously only possible with large sensors. Oh, wait a minute. That was last year.
Dual camera smartphones have pretty much become a requirement now for anybody taking their mobile photography seriously. Already, though, Samsung want to make the whole concept obsolete. They’ve now announced some new mobile image sensors based on dual pixel technology. Similar to that found in cameras such as the Canon 5D Mark IV. Only way smaller.
Last week, two earthquakes struck southwestern Japan, leaving at least 41 people dead and substantial damage to the region, which is known for its manufacturing facilities.
Sony was affected by the quakes, forcing operations at two of its factories to shut down for a period of time, while Fujifilm has offered to help in what can only be described as a heartfelt gesture.[Read More…]